Ethiopia with an estimated population of 76.5 million is the third populous country in Africa. The sex composition of the population of the country is almost equal. According to 2007 estimate, population is growing at an estimated annual rate of 2.27 %. From the total population of the country more than 85% are rural population and the remaining is urban population (CSA, 2006). It is a multi-ethnic country with diverse geographic and climatic conditions, rich traditions and a complex history. However, Ethiopia is perhaps best known outside Africa as the location of some of the worst famines in the continent’s history; a contemporary symbol of African poverty and the failure of development. It is one of the most food insecure countries in the world. It suffers from both chronic and acute food insecurity (Amdissa, 2006).
Ethiopia is predominantly an agricultural country where agriculture accounts for about 50% of the country’s GDP, 65% of the total exports and 85% of employment. The main exports are coffee, oilseeds, pulses, hides and skins (MoFA, 2007). The majority of people in Ethiopia are living in rural areas (83%) where poverty is more widespread than in urban areas. About 44% of the population is below the nationally defined poverty line in 1999/2000, while it is 45% for rural population and 37% for urban population. Poverty is also deeper and severer in rural areas than in urban areas. On the average, the income of the rural poor is 12.1% far from the poverty line, while it is 10.1% for the urban poor. The Ethiopian government has been constantly pursuing development efforts addressing mainly rural poverty (Tasew, 2004).
One of the features of the Ethiopian agriculture and the national economy at large is the inability to produce sufficient food to feed the population. Hence, dependence on foreign food aid both for emergency assistance following drought and famine and to feed the chronically food insecure population has been a practice for three decades now (Berhanu, 2006).
About 52 percent of the Ethiopia’s population is food insecure and below the poverty line (FDRE, 2002). There is no problem of underdevelopment can be more serious than food insecurity that has an important implication for the long-term economic growth of the low-income counties (World Bank, 1986).
Food insecurity in Ethiopia derives directly from dependence on undiversified livelihoods based on low-input, low-output rain fed agriculture. Ethiopian farmers do not produce enough food even in good rainfall years to meet consumption requirements (Devereux, 2000). A combination of factors has resulted in serious and growing problem of food insecurity in Ethiopia. Adverse climate changes (drought) combined with high human population pressure, environmental degradation, technological and institutional factors have led to a decline in the size of per capita land holding. Increasing urban poverty is largely attributed to limited broad based employment and income earning opportunities in urban areas (MoFED, 2002).
In order to improve the food security situation of the country, successive national Food Security Strategies have been designed in 1996, 2002 and 2003/04. The program aims at improving the food security of a large segment of the vulnerable population, i.e. the 15 million people considered as most food insecure. These are 5 million chronically food insecure people and 10 million people increasingly vulnerable to shocks and subject to transitory or acute food insecurity in times of drought (FDRE, 2002).
In spite of all the effort put by the government and donors to ensure the food security of rural household in the country, it continuous to rise and a large proportion of the population faces chronic food insecurity and their livelihoods are at risk (Belayneh, 2005).
With this view, the purpose of this review of the food security strategy components and its linkage with other development strategies would tell at least where the linkage avail.
2 FOOD SECURITY AND ITS CONCEPTS
Food security refers to access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life World Bank (1986). Food security, in Ethiopian context, is an entitlement or access to balanced food basket of 550 to 800 kg wheat equivalent per capita per year, or 2,200 to 2500 kcal per day or cash equivalent of that (FDRE, 1996
In the Ethiopian context the essential point of food security is access to food. In general, poor people have the lowest access to natural resources, entitlements, employment opportunities and income. As evidenced in Ethiopia, it is the poorest part of the population that is most chronically food-insecure (ADP, 2004-2006).
There are three food security components: adequacy of supply (production, reduction of post harvest loses, import levels), stability of supply (production stability, regional and inter temporal price stability) and access to supply (purchasing power, or income level and access to employment) (MoFED, 2002).
2.2. Dimensions of food insecurity in Ethiopia
Food insecurity is divided into two categories of the chronic and acute. Chronic food insecurity is commonly perceived as a result of overwhelming poverty indicated by a lack of assets. Acute food insecurity is viewed as more of a transitory phenomenon related to man made and unusual shocks, such as drought. Both chronic and transitory problems of food insecurity are widespread and severe in Ethiopia. The following table will illustrate dimensions of food security in Ethiopia.
3. ETHIOPIAN FOOD SECURITY STRATEGY
3.1 Overview of the Food Security Strategy (FSS)
The food security program aims at improving the food security of a large segment of the vulnerable population, i.e. the 15 million people considered as most food insecure. These are 5 million chronically food insecure people and 10 million people increasingly vulnerable to shocks and subject to transitory or acute food insecurity in times of drought (FDRE, 2002).
The first version of the strategy was prepared in 1996 and was revised recently through intensive dialogue and broad participation of federal, regional and the donor community. The strategy is designed to address both the supply and demand sides of the food equation: availability and entitlement, respectively within the framework of the National Agricultural and Rural Development Strategies.
The revised strategy is targeted mainly at the chronically food insecure moisture deficit and pastoral areas. The revised strategy is characterized by a clear focus on environmental rehabilitation as a measure to reverse the current trend in land degradation.
As discussed elsewhere; gender dimensions, HIV/AIDS, and environmental sustainability are critical to the pursuit of food security.
The strategy rests on the following three basic pillars, MoFA, (2007) and MoFED, (2002).
to increase the availability of food through increased domestic production.
to ensure access to food for food deficit households; and
to strengthen emergency response capabilities.
In general, the strategy is based on the following logical hierarchy of objectives to address (Fiqure-1)
Figure 1: Graphic Representation of the Food Security Programme Logical Hierarchy of Objectives
3.2 Key components of the Strategy
As has been described in PASDP, SDPRP, FSS and ADLI documents by MoFA, (2007), MoFED (2002) and (ADP, 2004-2006), The major components of food security program involves: improving productivity and production of rural households, developing the contribution of the livestock sector in food security, expanding and strengthening irrigation schemes, implement sustainable land-use practices, Build-up human and institutional capacity, improve the provision of clean drinking water, Expand rural credit services, Expand rural market services, Expand and strengthen off-farm employment opportunities, and Implement resettlement program. But for the purpose of this study, the focus is only to the key components as discussed below (Astatke, 2002).
3.2.1 Agricultural Production, Marketing and Credit
220.127.116.11 Increasing Domestic Production (Supply Side Actions)
Domestic production is the first and main source of food entitlement for most of the Ethiopian farming community in terms of direct consumption of food. The surplus is sold to the non-farming and even to the farming community. This implies that increasing the production and productivity of food in a sustainable manner could address the problem of food shortages in Ethiopia. The increase in production would be made to provide employment generally for the landless and unemployed rural communities (MoFED, 2002).
18.104.22.168 Improving the Food Marketing System
This component is highly linked with marketing policy and the policy of the government regarding agricultural marketing and distribution is to encourage the participation of the private sector and cooperatives to improve the efficiency of the system. On the marketing front, parastatal business enterprises are expected to play significant roles in stabilizing prices as well as reaching farmers who are far from agricultural input market.
The on-going effort in the construction of main and rural roads, the rural travel and transport programs coupled with promotion of competition in the transportation, trade processing and distribution of food would help further reduce costs of marketing and distribution (MoFED, 2002).
22.214.171.124 Credit Services
This component as mentioned on the SDPRP (MoFED, 2002), is highly tied with credit policy of the country. Improved credit services for food insecure rural and urban households are envisaged in order to address both supply and demand side problems. The Food security strategy also envisaged improving rural financing systems aimed at catering the needs of micro and small-scale enterprises as well as small resource poor farmers. The government has already taken measures to strengthen the operation of the financial sector.
126.96.36.199 Ensuring Access to Food (Demand Side)
Many households in the drought prone and moisture deficit as well as urban areas lack sufficient income to meet their basic needs. The proposed demand side measures are :Supplementary Employment and Income Generating Schemes, Targeted programs (aimed at transferring resources aimed at both developing capacity for self provisioning and support vulnerable groups), (MoFA,2007 )
3.2.2 Pastoral Areas Development
Pastroral agricultural development is the other key component of food security strategy. It focuses on Pastoral Communities in Ethiopia whose livelihood basically depends on livestock. Any threat to the livestock economy strikes at the heart of pastoral communities, such is, their basic reliance on livestock for consumption or trade.
As mentioned on the strategy, the goals of agricultural activities in pastoral areas are: increasing livestock farm productivity and improving the welfare of the people through voluntary and non-coercive settlement in consultation with local communities. This necessitates integrated intervention programs and setting up a culturally acceptable mechanism to oversee the utilization and management of resources.
3.2.3 Micro and Small Scale Enterprises
Non-farm activity and employment got attention on the strategy. To this effect, micro-and small-scale enterprise development through industrial extension services is one component. So far, agencies have been established at both Federal and Regional Levels. Strengthening the capacity of these institutions in implementing the initiation, promotion and strengthening activities will continue in a more coordinated manner. These developments are believed to create additional employment opportunities in the private sector
3.2.4 Agricultural Exports and Diversification
The linkage of this element is with trade policy and quality control authority, since attentions has been given in the strategy to the problems of product quality, processing, transportation and etc. In line with its export strategy the commodities like coffee, hide and skin has got focus to reduce wastage and increase production, other agricultural products (especially horticulture, pulses and oilseeds), are also expected to increase substantially. Emphasis has also given to the textile and leather industries in the medium term to compete in international markets
As well, the natural resource base of the country provides ample opportunities for diversification of horticulture, oilseeds, and pulses, which contribute to some degree of exports. The potential of exports in some other commodities like canned meat, leather products and garment needs further exploration.
3.3 Food security strategy linkage with other development policies and Strategies
The food security strategy, as a multi-sector strategy, will touch on many different policy areas including that of land tenure and land use, rural credit and marketing systems. With regard to land management.
The three main areas of public policy, which will influence the patterns of growth, are: provision of infrastructure, encouragement of competitive marketing of input and output, and taxation of selective commodities to shift the consumption patterns. These government interventions will assist the growth of industries dominated by agro-processing. Moreover, emphasis will be given to address the constraints in the areas of education, credit, research and extension, risk and uncertainty, (MoFA, 2007)
3.3.1 Food security linkage to the economic policy
According to Astatke (2002), the part of the economic policy that directly linked with food security strategy is the agricultural policy. It is listed in the document that agriculture is the pillar of Ethiopia’s economy providing the country with employment, foreign exchange earning, source of raw material for industry, and source of food for the population (FDRE, 2002). Components of agricultural policy with line of food security:
188.8.131.52 Giving priority to peasant agriculture: about 85 % of country’s population is engaged in peasant agriculture. The agricultural policy gives top priority to this sub sector. Although, the economic policy opt for incentives to peasant in order to increase output and then address food security goal (FDRE, 1991).
184.108.40.206 Resettlement and villagization policy: – in the economic policy voluntary resettlement designed to realize land shortage due to population pressure and increase food security
220.127.116.11 Modern large scale farming: – in the new economic policy, the role of state farms will be reduced and the establishment of commercial private farms will be encouraged (FDRE, 1991).
18.104.22.168 Natural resources conservation policy: – three areas got due attention in natural resource conservation: Soil conservation, water conservation and forest development along with livestock resource development (FDRE, 1991).
22.214.171.124. Land tenure policy
Proper use of agricultural land is emphasized in the economic policy and procedures to underway are envisaged. In the policy, access to and use of land considered as one of the major issues of agricultural development movement and then addressing food security (Getahun, 2003).
3.3.2 Food Security strategy linkages to ADLI
Ethiopia is recognized as facing the greatest and most intractable problems in addressing food security, poverty and achieving more sustainable livelihoods for its population. Recognizing this fact, the government initiated and formulated a development strategy known as the Agricultural Development-Led Industrialization. ADLI is described as focusing on increasing the productivity of “smallholder farmers” through the diffusion of fertilizers and improved seeds and the establishment of credit schemes as well as the expansion of the road system and improvement of primary health care, primary education and water supply
3.3. 3 Food Security strategy linkages to education policy
The current education policy of the country envisaged adult and non formal education for out of school farmers. In addition, it opts for non vocational education by establishing ATVET colleges that produce middle level trainees that in turn would train farmers at each FTCs in woredas in order to improve the skill and performance of farmers and productively (MoFED, 2002).
Building the production capacity of our human resources needs work to be done focusing on four major areas. First of all, it requires guaranteeing preparedness to work and self-initiation of our human power (MoIPAD, 2001). Secondly, we have to continuously improve the agricultural skill and profession and, based on this, ensure development of agricultural technology. Thirdly, the health of the work force should be protected in order to ensure hardworking and effectiveness. Fourthly, it is important to improve the generation, multiplication, and dissemination of technology. Now, it is important to analyze this major task of human resources capacity building in detail.
3.3.4 Food security linkage to Technology policy
Agricultural productivity in Ethiopia is constrained mainly by inadequate supply of improved agricultural inputs and application of improved practices and climatic variability and natural resources degradation. There is a felt need to increase yield per unit area/labour and conserve the natural resources to attain food security at a household level. In this regard, focus will be given to supporting the generation, transfer and utilization of affordable agricultural technologies to enhance agricultural production, productivity, processing and marketing at both household and commercial levels (ESTA, 2006).
3.3.5 Food security strategy linkage to population policy
As human numbers increased, the population carrying capacity of the environment decreased. A high population growth rate induces increased demand for resources and the rate at which these resources are exploited; Crop producing areas are becoming less and less productive. This declining productivity is a function of increasing man/land ratio occasioned. Thus, in order to balance, the population growth at rate of 3% with food production growth with 1.7 %, population policy enhances family planning and conservation of natural resources to address food demand of nation (ENPP, 1993)
In a nutshell, the economic policy, development strategy, food security strategy and food security program seem well linked. In general, the conceptual module for food security linkage to various sectors is shown in the following figure-2
Ethiopia is one of the most food insecure countries in the world. It suffers from both chronic and acute food insecurity (Amdissa, 2006). About 52 percent of the Ethiopia’s population is food insecure and below the poverty line. More over, because of the primary dependence on subsistence crop production in Ethiopia, harvest failure leads to household food deficits, which in the absence of off farm income opportunities leads to asset depletion and, increasing levels of destitution at the household level (FDRE, 2002)
In order to improve the food security situation of the country, successive national Food Security Strategies have been designed in 1996, 2002 and 2003/04. However, in spite of all the effort put by the government and donors to ensure the food security of rural household in the country, it continuous to rise and a large proportion of the population faces chronic food insecurity and their livelihoods are at risk (Belayneh, 2005). That is why both chronic and transitory food insecurity perpetuates in the rural poor.
The major components of food security program involves: improving productivity and production of rural households, developing the contribution of the livestock sector in food security, expanding and strengthening irrigation schemes, implement sustainable land-use practices, Build-up human and institutional capacity, improve the provision of clean drinking water, Expand rural credit services, Expand rural market services, Expand and strengthen off-farm employment opportunities, and Implement resettlement program. But for the purpose of this study, the focus is only to the key components as discussed below.
In general, the linkage between food security strategy and economic policy (agricultural policy), ADLI, and education policy, technology policy and population policy was dealt. Among these, the economic policy, development strategy, food security strategy and food security program are well linked.
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